Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

The snow has abated here, at least for a while, and while it’s clear on this Fat Tuesday, February 13, 2018, it’s still cold: 11° F (-12° C). It’s also National Italian Food Day, and World Radio Day, celebrating the powers of wireless (not computers!) Remember that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and if you haven’t got swag for your significant other, get on the stick!

Posting may be light today as I have stuff to do. Like Maru, I do my best.

On February 13, 1542, yet another one of Henry VIII’s wives was executed, in this case Catherine Howard (wife #5). She was beheaded for “adultery” at only 21.  On this day in 1633, Galileo arrived in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition. He was found guilty of heresy, forced to recant, and spent the last nine years of his life under house arrest. (Of course, as all accommodationists tell us, this had nothing to do with religion.)  In 1689, William and Mary were designated as co-rulers of England (have there been co-rulers since?), and gave their names to my beloved alma mater. On this day in 1935, Bruno Hauptmann was found guilty of the kidnapping of the “Lindbergh baby” (Charles’s Lindbergh’s son) two years before. It’s not clear that he was guilty, but he was electrocuted. On this day in 1955, Israel obtained four of the seven Dead Sea scrolls.  In 1961, a supposedly 500,000-year-old rock or concretion was found near Olancha, California, containing a modern spark plug. This “Coso artifact” was of course touted by creationists, but has since had a more prosaic explanation.  On this day in 1990, an agreement was made for the reunification of Germany.  Finally, exactly one year ago today, Kim Jong-nam was murdered in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, almost surely by the agents of his half-brother, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un.

Notables born on this day include Thomas Robert Malthus (1766), Lord Randolph Churchill (1849; Winston’s dad), Grant Wood (1891), William Shockley (1910), Chuck Yeager (1923; still with us at 95), Elaine Pagels (1943), Jerry Springer (1944), Marian Stamp Dawkins (1945), and Mena Suvari (1979). Those who died on February 13 include Catherine Howard (1542; see above), Benvenuto Cellini (1571), Cotton Mather (1728), Richard Wagner (1883), Waylon Jennings (2002), and, two years ago, Antonin Scalia.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is pining for Spring:

Hili: All this will be green again.
A: We have to wait a bit more.
Hili: I will sleep through part of this waiting.
In Polish:
Hili: To wszystko będzie znowu zielone.
Ja: Jeszcze trochę musimy poczekać.
Hili: Część tego czekania prześpię.

In nearby Wloclawek, Leon finally got his cat treats sent by Hiroko (Leon’s staff at last visited Andrzej and Malgorzata). Leon loved them!

Leon: Do you still insist that I’m a poor eater? Hiroko Kubota and Jerry Coyne know what I like BEST!
And up in Winnipeg, the difficult task continues of making a photographic thermometer based on Gus’s nose color. It gets pinker when it’s cold, and my theory (which is mine) is that one could determine the outside temperature by making a color scale of Gus’s nose and matching it to the scale when he comes inside. His staff Taskin, long hectored by me to do this, reports:

Gus went out this morning, I was very surprised because it is quite cold, -25C. I took outside and inside pictures but I’m not sure if the difference in pinkness is really apparent. He doesn’t sit still for such photos…



A pun tweet found by Grania:

From Matthew: Earthworms mating. He noted that

“There are no indigenous Canadian earthworms. Think glaciers. 15,000 years ago it was all ice and rock. How long does it take worms to migrate from the unglaciated south? So how does indigenous soil ecology work? Very good question. No one really knows – I’ve asked soil experts. Worms you get in Canada are Brit imports in general.”

These, I suppose, are official symbols of the Olympics, reinterpreted for the ignorant:

An “infernal cat machine” (watch the video):

Watch this lovely video about a sickly kitten rescued by a husky. Now they’re BFFs:

Matthew called this one “Rhino in the snow,” which reminds me of the Doors song “Riders on the Storm”:

And this one from Official Website Physicist™ Sean Carroll, who retweeted it with the caption, “This seems like magic, but it’s just Fourier transforms (expressing a function as a sum of periodic functions). Which are a kind of magic, I admit.”



  1. Posted February 13, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Well I have no significant anything 😥
    Because I am a miserable git! 🙂

  2. Peter
    Posted February 13, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Until relatively recently, researchers thought that the earthworm fauna found in Canada was comprised only of alien species introduced from Europe (McKey-Fender et al. 1994). However, research has now shown that native species of earthworms are present in Canada and are species that survived glaciaton in unglaciated regufias on the west coast of the continent—on the Queen Charlotte Islands, Vancouver Island and along the northwest coast of the United States (McKey-Fender et al. 1994). Researchers have termed these native earthworms ‘ancient earthworms’ (Marshall and Fender 1998). The ancient earthworms are forest-dwelling species found in forest soils (Marshall and Fender 2007).

  3. GBJames
    Posted February 13, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I would be interested to learn if there are differences in the earthworm species in glaciated vs. unglaciated parts of the US, say… here in Wisconsin.

  4. David Coxill
    Posted February 13, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I like Huskies ,i think the more a dog looks like a Wolf the better .

  5. W.Benson
    Posted February 13, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Charles Lindbergh, one of my least favorite heroes, like Henry Ford defended Hitler and, along with his wife, fought against the US coming to England’s aid in WWII. He and his wife had 5 additional children. Lindbergh himself, according to Wikipedia, fathered 7 more children in 3 adulterous affairs in Europe.
    In 1938 Nazi Germany awarded Lindbergh the “Order of the German Eagle with Star”. Here is a 1939 Lindbergh quote from Readers Digest: “We can have peace and security only so long as we band together to preserve that most priceless possession, our inheritance of European blood, only so long as we guard ourselves against attack by foreign armies and dilution by foreign races.”

    • David Coxill
      Posted February 13, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      It was down hill for him the moment he touched down in Paris in 1927.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 13, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Those who died on February 13 …

    Wait, wut? Died? That’s it? That’s all you got for us today? No joined the choir invisible, no pining for the fjords, no ceased to be? Not even a “fell asleep”?

    What a gyp (although, let me hasten to add, I intend no slight upon the Romani people; some of my best friends are Roma).

    • Mark R.
      Posted February 13, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      I looked up the etymology of gyp to see if it had anything to do with gypsies (I hadn’t connected the two words before). Nope, 19th century, no known origin.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted February 13, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        Wiktionary says its probably from “gypsy,” based on an ethnic stereotype. Better safe than sorry, should be my motto (but isn’t).

        • Mark R.
          Posted February 13, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          Thanks…not surprising…the dogged Romani people have been stigmatized throughout their existence. I’m not a safer over sorrier either.

  7. Posted February 13, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Fourier transforms. They can decompose just about everything. Does that make them the Grim Reaper?

  8. nicky
    Posted February 13, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, my neigbour’s huskies killed my most extraordinary kitten. Jumped in but was too late. Have posted earlier how extraordinary he was, really extraordinary. As a result I’m not really a husky fan.
    That Fourrier ‘analysis’ must have started from Vermeer’s painting, not the obrer way round.

  9. nicky
    Posted February 13, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Why does spellchecker surreptiously replace ‘other’ by ‘obrer’? Got it, it was on Catalan, but how the heck did it get to Catalan, of all languages? Why is there a Catalan spellchecker on my tablet? no French, No Spanish, no Portugese no Russian, no Chinese, No Bahassa Indionesia, only Deutsch, Català and Ceština, why?

    • Posted February 13, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      A Chinese spellchecker? Do those even exist?

  10. Posted February 13, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen the Fourier transform tweet being retweeted with the caption “Proof that with enough epicycles, you can explain everything.”

  11. Blue
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I know PCC(E) admires Mr Astaire
    (as do I as well ),
    and I a d o r e the voice and skill of
    m’Darlin’ Mr Waylon Jennings.

    Thus this day … … this:


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